Hicks relishing new challenge

Angus Hicks (Belinda Vitacca Photography)

Tara Murray

Angus Hicks was ready for a change heading into this year’s Victorian Football League season.

A vice-captain at Richmond’s VFL program, he had been there for a number of years and was quite comfortable.

There had been interest about him making a move elsewhere previously, but this year was different.

With his work life changing as well as he finished studying, he felt it was the perfect time for him to make the switch to Werribee.

“So far, so good,” he said. “I’d been talking to [former coach] Mick [Barlow] a few times in previous years,” he said.

“I’d also chatted with Mark Micallef [former Werribee football manager]. Being a vice-captain at Richmond I was a bit reluctant to make the move.

“Having been there six to seven years I decided I was keen for a change and decided to make the move down the highway to Werribee.”

Hicks played with the Murray Bushrangers before joining Richmond. He spent a couple of seasons on the side lines with a badly broken leg, before returning and playing nine games in 2021.

He built up and played 18 last season.

While he’s still playing in the same competition, Hicks said it was very different at Werribee.

“It’s such a relaxed environment,” he said.” It’s more like a country club that is really good at what they do.

“They take it up to AFL clubs each week and beat them or get close. Stepping away from AFL level it isn’t as professional, it’s more relaxed.

“You’re with like minded people and 22 blokes on the weekend who are working class fellas.”

When Hicks made the decision to switch to Werribee, there was a lot of uncertainty with its list due to retirements and players possibly picked up in the draft.

While several of the leaders departed it opened up opportunities for younger players to step up and fill roles in a side that made the grand final last year.

For Hicks, his teammates voted him straight into the leadership group

“That was pretty humbling,” Hicks said. “I was in the leadership group at Richmond but I wasn’t expecting that.

“It’s pretty humbling that everyone decided they wanted me in the group. There are so many great leaders.

“I’m proud and humbled.”

Hicks’ start to life at Avalon Airport Oval has been a mixed one. He missed most of pre-season due to hamstring injuries.

It meant a delayed start to the season.

“I missed round one and I had to get some match fitness,” he said. “Being a new side and new systems, I didn’t set the world alight straight away.

“I’m getting into it now and I’ve been able to get a few snags the last couple of weeks.”

Werribee had a bye on the weekend, which Hicks said came at a good time for him with a bit of a sore body.

They now have a four week period before their next break.

Werribee sits in sixth spot after seven rounds, with four wins and two losses.

Hicks said they were happy with how they had started the year.

“It was fantastic to go into the bye on the back of a win, it beats losing,” he said. “We’ve lost a couple of games but in my eyes, it’s a good thing.

“You learn a lot more than if you keep winning games you shouldn’t win. Lessons learned already holding us in good stead to go forward in the back half of the year.

“We want to keep improving week on week.”’

Werribee faces Collingwood on Saturday at 11.05am at Victoria Park.